Sunday, September 18, 2016

evening light

its getting colder and darker.

that makes for more stitching and cosy firelit evenings.

autumn is Ok with me - i will be out picking up acorns.


Thursday, September 15, 2016


Life is a spiral , always moving - sometimes it just up to us if we spiral up or down - but we are always in motion ...............spiralling.

dyed vintage material with plant dyes, patched and stitched

in unseasonal warm weather its good to slow down and spiral slowly.

But then there is always the cat, moon watching.


Thursday, August 18, 2016

what if ?

Like any artist I am contantly re-assessing my work - endeavouring to move forward, experiment and interpret the new ideas that constantly fill my head.  But often I am concerned that this 'experimentmental, try-out' time is not exactly productive, not quick enough for it to be a success

I am not saying that I consider it to be time wasted but often when working to deadlines and workshop/exhibition  dates it is hard to let hours go by on a 'what if 'train of thought.

Developing new themes, ideas, techniques takes time and an awful lot of energy and effort, and whilst I advocate the 'dont throw it away' line, I find that weeks can fly by in this experimental mode of work.

Recently I was struck by a rather strange thought.  It started with a locally organised open water colour exhibition - anyone could submit a painting ( and it had to be a painting - no stitch and no medium that would detract from the water colour medium itself).  It was open to all residents here on the island - both professional and amateur artists.

So I submitted a painting of 'fox terriers' gaily going on a parade in a garden.  A funny little picture painted spontaneously, no planning or deep thinking - just a happy little picture.

The competition was judged by a group of artists - they had a whole load more paintings than was necessary and therefore several were rejected.

But my 'foxterriers on parade' was accepted  and duly hung in the gallery.  The following day I returned to the gallery only to find the picture had been sold (almost immediately) and was proudly displaying the official red dot!  No-one was more surprised than me!  The painting was a long way from my usual technique  and a long way from embroidery or textile art.

It has caused me to re-assess.

 I am not a watercolourist -textiles , threads and the like are my tools of the trade and my preference.   But I have now discovered I have more or less always had dogs somewhere in amongst my experimental work.  When I return to my old sketchbooks, trials and experiments they are to be found, lurking, almost without any acknowledgement or credance - funny little fox terrier figures , funny little dog figures and sketches .................. just there.

Cant really say I have noticed them before and it certainly is not a theme that I have considered or even given any serious consideration to.

But now??

By allowing myself the time to revisit ideas, time to experiment, develop, move forward the dogs have appeared now in textiles, old fabrics , old textiles.  The little figures have been developed into 3 dimensional figures and these two are the prototypes of what will be a long journey, a journey to get them right, to enable them to appear from the sketchbooks into a medium that is my choice.

Sometimes it is absolutely necessary to allow oneself this time, the very special 'what if' time that as artists we so desparately need in order to progress , and to 'see'  those small details that so easily can be overlooked.

zaz ;0)

Thursday, March 24, 2016

the night before

its always a conundrum - the night before Open Studio....................

how many people will come ?? how much will I sell??  what will the weather hold??  etc etc etc ..........

but whatever the question, conundrums and is always the affirmation of my work that seals the deal!

I love the Open Studio weekend - its sheer hard work - nervousness - and the meeting with people that I wouldnt have otherwise met is fantastic!

But it is also the promotion of the technique of free and modern embroidery that drives me forward.  This subject has held me captive for over 30 years and I have never lost my enthusiasm for it ............

I have seen many relationships destroyed by this medium - not because it is destructive in itself but because of the unashamed power and confidence it offers to women who would otherwise be trapped in a domestic and belittling  situation.  I love this has pushed me to horizons unthinkable before I began my journey with embroidery and I have crossed pathways with many other women in a similar situation.

my work may sometimes appear frivolous and humourous but believe me behind the facade is 30 years of hard work!

I love embroidery and the journey and power it offers!


Tuesday, March 22, 2016

open studio

I enjoy meeting people and this time of year with the Open Studio event here on the island is fantastic for just that!  Of course it entails an horrendous amount of work and preparation but with my new found freedom it has been an adventure that I have enjoyed!

Curiously I have protected my anonimity with avengance but I do actually feel comfortable being a part of the artistic life on the the island and belonging to the ''Group''.  So opening the studio and meeting people to explain what and why I do what I do is really a boost for me.

So the studio has been spring cleaned - an unusual event in itself but it was a necessity to be able to get into the room!  and I am more or less ready to greet the visitors on Friday, Saturday and sunday ..............

I love this time of the year!



Sunday, March 20, 2016

being a textile artist ..........

The opening of our exhibiton was yesterday and I duly went along only to find that my hanging 'Bird watch' - a free machine embroidered hanging - had fallen from its suspension wire and was propped up against a window! 

Very disappointing  - because it was a delicate frame to encase the embroidery and not one that was strong enough to be launched to the floor!  I rehung it and straightened out the only slighlty bent frame and then complained to the gallery.

Why is it I continually feel that textile art , embroidery , stitched work is still second class citizen?  Ho hum!

Back to work.

Open studio this Friday, saturday and sunday - I so enjoy meeting people who are interested in my work.


Thursday, March 17, 2016

workshops ...............

At last I have been able to devote time to preparing workshops and classes.  Of course this is something I have always done but until now have often felt that my time in the preparation of them has not always been as much as I would have liked.

Time is a precious  luxury and I appreciate having the time now to be able to experiment, and to work out classes and workshops that bear my enthusiasm for embroidery and the textile arts.

I have been working with a group of embroiderers in Ucklum - a talented and enthusiastic bunch of ladies that embraced my design workshop with precisely the same amount of enjoyment and enthusiasm that I had whilst prepaing it.

Now they have asked to go back again - and this time we are working with backgrounds for embroidery - so all my time is now dedicated to that subject, revisiting past ideas, trials and experiments.

Loving it!